This is a story of a strong-willed girl, Lakshita, whose gusto for life powered through every curve ball the world threw at her! Lakshita’s mother was a commercial sex worker and is now a brothel owner in the red-light area of Pune. They lived in Budhwar Peth, a place no parent would ever want their child to see, let alone live. Lakshita’s story puts a human face on trauma and shame experienced by children of sex workers.
Lakshita’s mother did not want her daughter to live a life like hers. As a caring mother, she wanted a secure and respectful future for all her children. She heard about the transformation Sparsh brought to less fortunate children and enrolled her three children, so they would receive a great education, live in a loving environment, and have a bright future.
When Lakshita joined Sparsh at the age of 11, she withdrew into her own shell – quiet, secluded, introverted, awkward and ashamed. She shut people out and refused human interaction for fear of being judged because of where she came from. She was so emotionally troubled that she would rebel and refused to discipline herself. Slowly but surely with the support of her Sparsh family, Lakshita discovered her dignity and learned to accept herself without inhibitions.
Today, Lakshita stands strong and tall, and envisions herself being an entrepreneur. She intends to major in Business Management and own her own clothing brand. She personifies the Hindu goddess “Lakshita” known for bringing in wealth, fortune, and prosperity. Such is the power of education!
As rightly said by Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which we can use to change the world.” We, as iPlacers, are proud to contribute to a purpose that is higher and bigger than ourselves – bringing light into Sparsh students’ life by enabling them to embark on a new journey of knowledge and learning. This is just the beginning, there are so many more lives we can help change!